5 Questions Your Pharmacist Can Answer About Your Mental Health Medication
From side effects to money-saving opportunities, your pharmacist has the info you’re looking for.
It probably wouldn’t surprise you to hear that most patients see their pharmacists far more than they see their doctor — one estimate suggests up to 10 times more often.
It makes sense. Many people go to the pharmacy every month to pick up their medications, and patients can often talk to a pharmacist about health questions or concerns without an appointment, which makes it easier than going to the doctor.
It also makes your pharmacist an important member of your care team, especially when it comes to caring for your mental health.
Whether you’re currently taking a medication for mental health, caring for someone who does, or thinking about starting a medication, remember that your pharmacist can be a great resource.
5 questions you can ask your pharmacist:
1. “This is the first time I’m filling this [insert mental health medication]* prescription. Can you give me an overview on how it works again?”
You might not recall all of the details your doctor told you when prescribing your med (there’s a lot to remember!).
Starting a new medication can be nerve-wracking, so don’t be afraid to ask questions! Your pharmacist can arm you with the knowledge you need to feel more in control. They can help you understand how to take your medication, the best times to take it, how it affects your body, how to store it, potential side effects you can expect and what to do if you miss a dose.
2. “Why was this one prescribed?”
There are many prescription drugs that treat various mental health conditions, and they oftentimes work differently from one another. If you’re wondering why you received a prescription for one kind of medication and not another, your pharmacist can help explain their differences.
They can educate you about similar treatments and can help you understand why your doctor might have chosen a particular drug. Think maybe it wasn’t the right choice? Your pharmacist can reach out to your doctor, share your concerns and recommend potential alternatives.
3. “Can you review all my medications to make sure I get the most out of my [insert mental health medication]*?”
When a new prescription is added to the list of medications you already take (including prescription and over-the-counter meds, as well as herbal supplements), it’s a good idea to ask your pharmacist to review your entire list. It’s extremely important they know every medication you’re currently taking. They’ll make sure none of your medications will cause drug interactions and ensure that your new medication won’t make another one less effective.
4. “I’ve been taking this [insert mental health medication]*, and I’m just not feeling right. What can I do?”
Your pharmacist can be a great first point of contact for concerns like this, especially when you want to talk to someone soon and can’t get an appointment with a doctor. Your pharmacist will ask you about how you’ve been taking the medication, and can work with your doctor to optimize your current regimen or even recommend other alternative treatments.
5. “This [insert mental health medication]* has been working well for me, but I can barely afford it, and I really don’t want to stop taking it. What are my options?”
If you’re considering rationing your medications, cutting pills in half or stopping altogether in order to save money, talk to your pharmacist first. They may be able to find a cheaper alternative.
They can look for potential savings programs or foundations that help patients pay for their medications, and can also work with other healthcare providers to find solutions. They also might tell you to check Blink to see if you can find your medication for less. If your local pharmacy is in the Blink network, you can keep picking it up there while paying a lower price.
*Even though medical providers, organizations and others are working to break down stigma around mental health conditions and treatments, some people just aren’t comfortable talking about taking mental health medications around other people. If you feel uncomfortable, just say “my medication” instead, then ask if there’s a private consultation area to chat.
This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.
Blink Health is not insurance. The discount prescription drug provider is Blink Health Administration, LLC, 233 Spring Street, 8th Floor East, New York, NY 10013, (844) 366–2211, www.blinkhealth.com